Jean-Claude Van Damme's old-fashioned, 1930's period action drama is a slow-moving tribute to the enduring legend of the French Foreign Legion.
1925, Marseilles: Boxer Alain Lefevre (Van Damme) agrees to throw a fight for promoter Lucien Galgani (Jim Carter) but has no intention of actually doing so he's angry at Galgani for stealing his girlfriend, Katrina (Ana Sofrenovic). Katrina subsequently realized she'd made a terrible mistake, but no-one walks out on Galgani. Alain intends to win the bout and then leave town with Katrina, but Galgani gets wind of his plan and retaliates by killing Alain’s manager and returning his unhappy mistress to her life in a golden cage. En route to the train station, Alain accidentally shoots Galgani’s beloved brother. What else can a fugitive pugilist do but make tracks for Morocco and sign up for a hitch in the Foreign Legion? Alain is only one of the Legion's refugees from mainstream society: Impoverished Guido Rossetti (Daniel Caltagirone) hopes to impress his fiancee’s disapproving parents; African American Luther (Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje) is fleeing American bigotry and hopes to resettle in Africa; disgraced officer Mackintosh (Nicholas Farrell) has never met a deck of cards he didn’t like. Alain’s unit becomes a second family, and when Guido collapses during a march Alain defies his capitaine and carries his buddy to camp. But Galgani has found out where Alain is, and persuaded two gangland cronies to volunteer for a hitch in his same battalion. He's also recruited one of Alain’s fellow soldiers, leaving Alain to fight a war on two fronts: The rebel army of Abd El-Krim (Kamel Krifa.
Unlike Van Damme's other Foreign Legion picture, LIONHEART (1991), LEGIONNAIRE aims for a rollicking, old fashioned mix of romance, action and exotic locations. It's a shame that it comes up short, but it is at least a change from Van Damme's routine modern-day crime pictures.
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- Released: 1998
- Rating: R
- Review: Jean-Claude Van Damme's old-fashioned, 1930's period action drama is a slow-moving tribute to the enduring legend of the French Foreign Legion. 1925, Marseilles: Boxer Alain Lefevre (Van Damme) agrees to throw a fight for promoter Lucien Galgani (Jim Ca… (more)